Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Fun Weekend at Lake Roosevelt!

Yes, we are still playing around the water - this time in Washington State.

In 1941 the Grand Coulee Dam was built on the Columbia River as part of the Columbia River Basin project, creating a 130-mile long lake - Lake Roosevelt.

What a view!
Named for President Franklin D. Roosevelt, of course!
Lake House

Wonderful friends Pam and George were so nice and invited a bunch of us to stay the weekend at the Lake House.

Nice boat!
It is a beautiful family home that sits right above Lake Roosevelt.  We had a great time!

Captain George

We packed so much food and liquor you would have thought we were staying a week - not just 2 nights.

Beautiful Pam!

Pam and George made us feel so welcome and took excellent care of all of us.
Cruising along the river

Ritch and Sue (Union High School buds) drove over from Vancouver.

So happy they did.

Can't believe we have known them for over 45 years - seems like yesterday!

Sue making us laugh all day!

Lovely Annette!
We were so happy to see Annette (sans Keith).

We first met her in Fiji and bonded. She is wonderful.
Doug and Brother Ken - nice surprise

Brother Ken, from New Hampshire, flew in early and surprised us - so happy he did.

Cruising along the lake
Plus, Phil and Danette of course.  We don't go anywhere without them!

So we spent the weekend on the pontoon boat (with the big engine) cruising up and down the lake.

Pretty Danette
The water was a little cool, but it didn't stop us from jumping in - for a quick dip.
Crazy guys - going to hurt!

And paddling around on the paddle boards.

Annette and Doug stirring it up
It is definitely harder than it looks. I got wet!

Plus, there was crazy guys jumping off big rocks - yikes.
Lots of deer along the shore

There were lots of deer along the shore - they didn't seem to be too worried about us.
Hanging at the Whitestone Winery (Yurt)

We stopped by the Whitestone Winery and drank wine in a Yurt.

Now that is a first.
No Paparazzi!
There was supposed to be a seafood boil, but it didn't happen.

We still had a good time playing Bag Toss on the lawn and relaxing.
Enjoying the lake

A very pretty setting!
Girls Just Want to Have Fun

We had such a wonderful time.

It went way too fast.
Hanging at the beach

So nice to spend the weekend with wonderful friends and family.

Thanks so much, Pam and George. We want to go again!
Going up the river

Sunset on the water

Yard Art in Wilbur - hah!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Made it to the USA - whew!

It took us 4 days to get from Savusavu, Fiji to Pasco, Washington.  We were pooped when we arrived at Midnight on our 2nd Monday!
Ready for vacation

Maybe we are getting too old for this traveling stuff - no way.
Lots of sugar cane

The first day, we hired a cab to drive us to Labasa ($90FJ).
Mystery tree

It was a pretty drive over the mountains and thru the Waisali Rainforest.

Plus lots of sugar cane fields and trucks heading to the mill.
In Labasa - nice place to stay

We spent one night at the Grand Eastern Hotel. A very nice hotel with a great restaurant. We wandered around the markets and did a little exploring.

Uh Oh - the Small Plane!

Next time, we want to check out the sugar mill - it is supposed to be a great tour.

The next day, we hopped the small plane to Nadi. Pretty view from 10,000 feet.
Overlooking Fiji

We had reservations at Jetset Accommodations, but there was a flaw in our plan.

They decided to close down for a month for renovations. Uh Oh!
Sweet Sue and Owen

We were checking out other options - like the Beach Villas.

It was so rundown - yikes.

Fortunately, our friends Sue and Andrew insisted we stay the night with them in their lovely home - we are thankful that we did.  Thanks, Sue and Andrew - we owe you!

Beautiful Cici and Owen
The next day, we got to visit Cici and meet her new son, Owen.  What a cutie pie.

Eeewww - a big snail
Plus, wander around their beautiful yard - gorgeous orchids and a big dog!

Then down to Port Denarau just in time to catch up with a lot of our friends and hang out at one of our favorite places - Cardo's.

Love these orchids
It was a very nice reunion - so nice to see all those familiar faces.

Time to catch our 11 hour flight from Nadi to Los Angeles. Fortunately, we slept most of the way!
In LA - had to try it

Once we landed, we rented a car for 4 hours and drove to El Segunda in search of cold beer and great burgers!
Tavern on Main - El Segundo

We found them both at the Tavern on Main, plus lots of TV's.

Our kind of place and so much better than hanging around the airport!

Then a flight to Seattle and another one to Pasco.

Arriving (finally) after midnight.  We were very happy to see that Brother Phil was waiting for us.

Relaxing in Pasco - finally!
So we are all settled in and enjoying our favorites - bacon cheeseburgers, tater tots, salmon, corn on the cob, and great cold beer and good red wine.

Plus, family and friends we haven't seen for awhile - of course.

We have been busy getting ready for the family "event" next week.

And, friends have invited us to join them at their house on Lake Roosevelt this weekend.  How fun!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Getting ready for our vacation!

I know, you all think our life is a vacation.  Okay, well maybe it is!  But, we still get excited about going on a real vacation - taxis, motels, airlines, restaurants, rental cars - wahoo!

 Floating on a Bilibili - traditional Fijian bamboo raft
This time, we are traveling to the USA for a family get together in Pasco, Washington.

Guardrails - not required
It has been a long time since the whole family has been together, so we are going to have a great time and make some wonderful memories.

Including celebrating Mom and Dad's 60th Wedding Anniversary and lots of birthdays!
Kava drying on the roof

Plus, checking out my brother and sister in-law's new winery - Tucannon Cellars.

We have missed those great wines!
Nice looking goat

We will be leaving Moondance in Savusavu on a hurricane mooring ball where she will be well taken care of.
He was a beauty

So, we have been busy getting her ship-shape. Which means lots of cleaning, organizing, and fixing (of course).

Plus, getting rid of lots of stuff/junk we just don't need (or want).
Having too much fun!

In our spare time (hah!), we enjoyed spending time with our friends on s/v Blinder and s/v Obsession. They are so much fun!
Making Carla Lasagna

We have got them hooked on playing Mexican Train.

It took us 3 nights to finish one game, but we weren't in a hurry - we were having such a great time.
Dinner with friends

And dining out of course. Savusavu has such great cheap eats, you just have to try them all.

Our favorite is still the curry at the Taste of Hidden Paradise.  Just bring your own drinks.
Listening to Elena - what a voice

Plus, the Copra Shed Marina had a guest performer - Elena Baravilala.

A local, award winning, singer/songwriter with a beautiful voice.

We enjoyed the show even with the technical difficulties!
Big papayas

We will miss Savusavu and our friends, but will enjoy every minute of our vacation.
Sunrise at Savusavu
Our itinerary so far: 
  •  9/5 - long taxi ride over to Labasa where we overnight at the Grand Eastern Hotel
  • 9/6 - hop a small plane over to Nadi with an overnighter at the Jetset Accommodations
  • 9/7 - late night flight to Los Angeles where we are renting a car for 5 hours so that we can find a great burger joint - and beer of course
  • 9/8 - Midnight arrival in Pasco.  Hope someone picks us up!

We have been making a list of all of the yummy places we will visit and food that we are going to chow down on.

Doug is going for chicken gizzards at Sam's.  Oh my.

So looking forward to seeing our USA Family and Friends again - we have missed you!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Birthday Week!

I had a great time celebrating my Birthday Week (#58) in Savusavu.

Enjoying the gardens
Too big event for just a day - hah!

It was also a good excuse to be wined and dined and do some tourist stuff.
My special card
Plus, balloons, cards, presents, and Yachties and locals singing and wishing me Happy Birthday.

Balloons and presents!
What a wonderful treat.

Not sure why people avoid birthdays, I thoroughly enjoyed mine!
Doug enjoying his massage!

Doug and had I lovely massages at Una's house. $50 (FJ) for a one-hour massage.
Walking the plank to Una's!

It was excellent and we highly recommend it.
Birthday dinner with friends

Friends from s/v Ranganui and s/v Bonaparte joined us at the Hot Springs Hotel for dinner and dessert (of course).

Then homemade ice cream for second dessert (why not?).

Bottle Palm

We had a very nice tour of the Flora Tropica Gardens.
Beautiful palms

Over 300 different types of palms from all over the world - started from seed.
Baby Honeyeater

Plus, excellent signs identifying the palms, native habitat, and if the species was threatened.
Cruising kids having fun

$5 (FJ) for a taxi ride, plus $20 (FJ) for tickets, that included a guided tour.

And more palms, of course
Plus, you get a nice walk.

Check it out next time you are in Savusavu!
Circus in Savusavu

Nothing to do with my birthday, but the Drifting Circus came to town and performed at the Copra Shed Marina.
Music and entertainment

There were about 20 performers from all over the world that arrived in Savusavu aboard 3 sailing boats.
Spanish music anyone?

They had some excellent musicians and singers, plus clowns and jugglers that entertained the crowd.
Mystery flower

The best part, watching the Fijians belly laugh thru the slapstick comedy routines - too funny!
Waiting for the bus

As you can see, I had a wonderful Birthday Week in Savusavu!

I wonder where I will be celebrating #59...