Thursday, March 28, 2019

Memories...

For the past month or so, my older sister Bette has been staying with us.  She's my last sibling, and I treasure our time together.  She practically raised me while I was young, and I spent many a summers with her and her family.  When we were older, we also had some great adventures together...the kind only sisters know how to get into!  ha ha

Most of our years have been in San Diego CA, and she has a young son buried there.  My brother's children still live there and we try to get together with them and their families as often as we can.  This last week, before she needed to return to Tacoma, we decided to rent a car (our little truck only comfortably holds two) and take a short trip to San Diego and visit the family, check on the mortuary to discuss future details, etc. and to see all the changes in the city since she had last been (many, many years ago).

What a wonderful visit we had!  After first checking into our hotel, Jack and I met up for drinks with my favorite work colleague who took over from me after I left.  It's always fun to catch up with James to see whats going on with the Zoo and everyone and get the "inside skinny".  No matter how long one is gone from work, you still miss it...

The following day, we took my sister to the Zoo, I bet she hadn't been in over 15 years!  Well, it's "Spring Break", Saturday, and a sun-filled day...so, you can imagine the crowd!  Just the kind of day my old boss loves to see!!  ha ha  The parking lot was full, full, full and it wasn't even 10am yet!  That was OK, we weren't in any hurry, and didn't need to see every square inch.  The Zoo was prepared and the lines weren't long.  We took the bus tour first, then just took our time wandering around until she was tired.

From there we just started to drive around the city.  What fun!  She used to live in Pt. Loma, right across and up the hill from the Naval Training Center.  You could look right into the Center itself and watch the sailors drill.  (I used to wave at them while I washed my sister's car when I was 14).  So, I couldn't wait to show her Liberty Station!  To say she was amazed, is an understatement!  So was I, the first time I saw what they had done to it!


Driving along the downtown area, along the Embarcadero, seeing the old Anthony's Fish Grotto gone always hurts my heart.  If you have ever lived in San Diego, you know that it was an icon here...one that it was here forever, and now it's gone.  Sad.  We went to the "Unconditional Surrender" statue and stopped to see the National Salute to Bob Hope (which I hadn't seen before) - such a cool memorial.


The other big change, is Old Town.  Another place she had lived was right above it, and she knew that area well.  I explained to her how the Bazaar Del Mundo lost it's lease and that they decided to change it's look to what it might have looked between 1821-1872.


By then we were hungry and decided to call it a day and stop for an early dinner.  Our favorite fish place is Kings Fish House in Mission Valley, and thank goodness, it is still there!  ;-) 

The next day we were meeting the family for lunch in the valley at the Wood Ranch BBQ.  My niece surprised us and was able to get the whole gang there!!  All 20!  Wow.  It sure was great to be able to see everyone.  The only ones missing were a couple of great nieces and a great nephews who were either out of town/state working.  Such a lovely family we have.


Afterward we made a run out to Carlsbad to see the Ranunculus Flower Fields.  My sister had never seen them before, and I remembered that they should be in bloom this time of year.  I thought she would enjoy the sight.  Jack and I used to come up here often when we lived here.  We were amazed though, how much the area had built up around the fields!  "Progress", don't you just love it?


We then took the leisurely drive back down all along the ocean side.  We swung by Belmont Park too, as Bette's first husband used to own the roller-coaster there at one time.  When I was a little girl, she used to take me on it.  I sure thought I was special, since my brother-in-law owned the roller-coaster and I could ride it all I wanted!  ;-) 

Monday morning we had an early breakfast at our most favorite breakfast spot, the Hob Nob Hill (another icon) then drove out to Cypress View Mausoleum.  We were able to meet with a very nice lady and get everything settled quickly and then be on our way back to Arizona.

We flew my sister back home yesterday.  I'll miss her sunny disposition, her wonderful cooking, her sweetness and most of all her loving company.  As I've shared before, sisters are special people, and I've been blessed with two.  I never forget to thank Spirit each day for that (and for the brother that I had).

Memories can be wonderful things when shared with loved ones...I'm glad I had the chance to do this with mine....thanks for coming along with us!

...kicking back in Arizona,  Marie


If you wish to view the rest of the photos from this trip, you can at my Flickr account at:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/74905158@N04/

Monday, March 11, 2019

Show Time!

Wow, here it IS already the second week of March!  They say "time flies when your having fun", and they are right!

For the past three months I've been in rehearsals, rehearsals, rehearsals!  When the Theater Group said that being in the show was work, what they really should have said was that it was a full-time commitment!  It wasn't work (that's what I did for most my life) this was FUN, but it sure is a commitment of time (and energy!).  With four single numbers, plus three group numbers, I was in rehearsals every day, many back-to-back.  It sure was great exorcise too!

Finally, it was time to perform!  Four nights, to sold out audiences!  My sister and her granddaughter surprised me and came down from Washington and Las Vegas for the weekend to see it, what a delight that was!

Out the door for "Hey Big Spender"; "Shout"; "Hey Big Spender"; Bye Bye Blackbird"; "Diamonds Are A Girls Best Friend"; "9 to 5"
 Each night the audience was so fun to watch and see their reaction to our performances.  I was told that Thursday night's (first night) were usually the quietest, and Saturday's (last night) the rowdiest.  Well, Thursday's was WILD!!  They were great!  My first number was Big Spender, where we are dressed in saloon girl outfits and try to get the attention of the "gentlemen spender".  After he has made his "selection" and walks away with two gals, I walk to the edge of the stage and eye someone nearby and have a line "How 'bout it palsey?"  Well, that first night, the man that I picked, dropped his jaw and then burst out laughing...it was great!  Made my night!

We ended each night with the song Up Town Funk and get everyone up and dancing with us.  It was a lot of fun, some nights people really got into it and even outdid us!!  Who said "old people act old"??  Not this group, I'll tell you!!

"Uptown Funk"
After the last show, we all brought food & drinks and partied and "let our hair down"!  That's when I really had fun...both the director and choreographer came up to me and told me what a gem I was and how much they enjoyed having me in the group!  They can't wait to have me solo next year, etc, etc.  Sure made me smile a lot!! 

Two days later, I hopped a plane to New York to be with my son.  Brrrr...  What a change going from 70 degree sunshine to 19 degrees and snow!!  I had dug out every bit of warm cloths I own (which isn't much) and layered!   ;-)  I sure was pretty to look at...but not something you wanted to stay outside in for longer than you had to!!

These guys came for breakfast and dinner each day at my son's back yard!

On Saturday, my oldest granddaughter had her "Sweet 16 Birthday Party" with her best friend.  It was cute.  About 20 girls and one (brave) boy, all dressed up.  Her mom rented a local place and decorated it with balloons, streamers, etc.  They played music and games and had pizza, hot wings and had a lovely cake.  They took funny pictures of each other and giggled.  Us three grandmas sat and reminisced about how different "today's kids are".  ;-)  It was sweet. 

Two days later, my son and his wife and I headed to Boston for his court hearing.  One that has been postponed several times regarding him bringing in his licensed gun from NY to MA.  Massachusetts doesn't have a reciprocal gun law.  It's more complicated than that...but that's the simple version.

After getting there bright and early, as we were told, the judge tells us to come back the next day, as he has an appointment that day.  We do.  Then, once again, the judge tells us, that he is going to postpone the case, as another one has take precedence - an officer involved shooting from 2013.  Ours will take place - April 1st.  Ugh.

We've paid for an apartment for the week, flown me in, taken time off from work, etc.  but the court doesn't care...  So, I flew back to Arizona!

...Just in time for another party!  Theater "Thank You Party" -  fully catered by Dave's BBQ, with a DJ for dancing!  I was so happy to be able to make this!  I had heard about it, and was told that it was "the party of the year!"  Well, they weren't exaggerating!  So much fun!!  The DJ played most of our numbers and we sang/acted them out - but made fun of them!  It was a hoot!  Then, and in between, we danced and danced and danced!  I haven't danced that much in years!  It didn't matter if, or who your partner was, that's one of the reasons I love this group!  ;-)  Everyone is so very friendly, and happy!  Best party ever!


Now, it's time to settle down and get some more things down around here...then before you know it, it will be time to hit the road again!  Yea!

...kicking back in Arizona,  Marie

If you wish to view the rest of the photos from this trip, you can at my Flickr account at:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/74905158@N04/

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

So long 2018!

This was a short, fast, odd kind of year for us!  One, along with many, it seems,  that we are glad to be done with!  So much seemed to happen, and not happen for us...

The happen...was we changed our status!  From the beginning we have been "full timers" - on the road constantly, moving from one campground to another, without really having any home base except a long stop-over in Washington to renew our licenses and see family and doctors.  This year, however, we decided that after 6 years it was time to slow down a bit and get a "home base".  We are not ready to quit...just ready to stay put for a few months now instead of traveling all 12 months.  For us, that's a big change...and a fun one.  Another adventure, if you will.  That change took months to do, to buy, to move in, etc. and in truth, it's still taking us time to unpack!





Another thing that happened was that one of my sweet sisters passed away while we were in Texas.  It wasn't totally unexpected, just earlier than expected, and never news one wants to get, no matter when or where you are.  That news changed our direction and our summer.  The one thing that being RV'ers are good at.








We were also able to take our "vacation" this year.  Something we like to do, but can't always do.  This year we were able to take some friends with us, and show them "our favorite island", Maui!  They had never been, and it was such a joy to show them Hawaii and to celebrate Jack's 75th birthday in style.  After such a hectic time, this was a nice relief.  Especially knowing that we were coming back to a house full of boxes to unpack!


What didn't happen...was a lot less camping.  We only camped from June to October, which is a really short time for us.  We left late due to first the house buying, then because I broke a molar and had to have it fixed before hitting the road.  Then, we had to be back by October because of our reservations for Hawaii.  Oh well, like I said, a strange year...

Here are our stats...

We stayed in 22 campgrounds for a total of 70 nights  (we stayed with family all the other nights)

Total campground fees $2,030.67  (that averages about $29. a night, which is a little less than last year's)

Mileage for the RV:  6,254
Mileage for the Toad: 9,005

Gas for the RV:  $2,865
Gas for the Toad: $1,143

Propane: $82

Maintenance for the RV:  $7,958
Maintenance for the Toad: $1,161

Both vehicles reached their "over 100,000 mile" mark and needed the full work up, so got it from front to back...ouch!

Next year's plan?  ...to be on the road more than this year, that's for sure!  ;-)  But as to "where"?  That's a good question..one we keep asking ourselves...with what all the bad storms and fires did to this country, we just may head to Canada!  We shall just see...

...sitting back in Arizona,  Marie


Sunday, December 23, 2018

December Daze...

Where does the time go?  Being "stationary", it seems like time flies faster than when we are "on the road"!  Last blog, we just got back from Hawaii, and now, here we are at the end of December already!  What have we been doing?

After we painted the wall, and hung some of the art, it was time to "update" our couch.  It just didn't fit in with our new look!  I wanted it to be a plain (off) white.  I've gotten into Pinterest lately, so turned to it, and found a number of blogs on how to reupholster using cotton drop cloths.  Sounded easy enough.  So, two drop cloths, a bunch of Velcro, seam binding, and two weeks later...a "new couch"!   I have a love of 1950's tablecloths, and have collected a number of them to use in sewing projects.  I used several for the arm rests and pillows (reversible), and will again on seat cushions for my dining chairs when I tackle that project (soon).  It's not perfect, but we like it, and it beats spending hundreds of dollars on a new couch!  ;-) 

Thanksgiving brought my older sister Bette out to visit us for a week.  What a treat that was to have her here, even if only for a short time.  We invited another couple to join us for our very small feast and had a lovely Thanksgiving for our first one in our new tiny home.  I was so busy being the hostess, I forgot to take pictures!  But the day was lovely and we all had a great time!

 She and I went flower and plant shopping and had a ball!  She loves plants as much as I do, so I was saving that trip for when she was here.  I have a ton of pots & containers that needed filling, so, off we went to the store to gather up soil and various goodies to fill them.  Oh what fun we had!  Ran out of money before we ran out of ideas...

The week went by way to fast, the sun was shining brightly and each day I took her out and showed her our great park and tried to entice her to move here from rainy, cloudy, cold Washington...hee hee..


December brought the chance to sell some of our stuff!  Twice a year Happy Trails has a Yard Sale!  So...we drug out all our goodies and did our best to sell, sell, sell!  Well, I think the Goodwill did better than we did!  We did manage to sell some (about $100 worth) but not as much as I sure would have liked, but, what we didn't, we mostly hauled off.  My friend Delores has introduced me to "Swip Swap" and others, it's an online selling app that I've been pretty successful with.  I only use it for the larger pieces, as it's not worth it for me to to take pictures and then meet up with someone for items less than $25 (in my opinion).  I've sold about half my items this way...sure wish the other half would go, as I need the space!!  ;-)   It's fun though and you get to meet some nice folks too.  I've also held on to the cloths I'm selling as we have a big clothing sale in January and I'll give that a try next.  What the heck?  Right?

Did I tell you I joined the Theater Group here?  Well, we've started getting ready for the 2019 production.  The theme for it is "Starry, Starry, Night".  I'm in 4 spots.  At our holiday party, our costume designer was talking with each of us, then was asking around if anyone knew how to sew?  Of course my hand went up...next thing I know, I'm helping with reversible satin, 2 color vests!  Oh boy!  As my daughter laughingly reminded me, I have a tendency to "jump right in" and then the next thing I know is I'm in charge!  Oops!
Told her, "Oh no, not this time, I don't know enough about this stuff to ever be in charge, no thank you!"

We've still been working on projects.  The latest is my craft chest.  I inherited my Mother's amour.  She had it for many years, and I've had it for about 50 years.  It was a nice cedar one, but it's been kicked around from house to house and suffered a lot of heat and cold and abuse, and showed it.  It needed a lot of repair work.  Jack always was ready to get rid of it, but it's the only thing I have of hers.  I asked him to fix it, and to put shelves inside and thus, turn it into a craft chest for me.  He did a great job.  I then sanded the whole thing and then painted the outside and voila!  New craft chest!   I was then able to unload two very large boxes into the chest.  Now I can see, and get to all my wonderful crafts easily and joyfully!  Yea!  The only thing left is I want to decoupage a design on the front.  I just haven't found the right one yet. 

Being "alone" this year, it hasn't felt much like Christmas to me, but we did do one thing that was very special.  Our friends told us about a Christmas show called the Celebration of Christmas done at a church in Phoenix.  It has flying angels, live animals, singing, great costumes, etc.  I had shared that I had always wanted to go to the one in Garden Grove CA at the Crystal Cathedral and never made it (and now it's gone).  So, they organized a small group of us, and got tickets and we all went there and then afterwards all went to dinner.  What a great night and wonderful show!  The theme is, people are stuck at the airport on Christmas Eve, with all the flights cancelled due to weather...and various stories with various couples...ending of course with the story of Christmas.  Just beautiful.


We finally did put up a couple of decorations outside.  That's it for this year though, we will do more next year.  2019 will be a better year, for us and for everyone!  Cheers!

Marie

Friday, November 16, 2018

Vacation!

Yes, even people who spend their time “leasurely traveling” around need a vacation!  For us, it means getting away from the RV and camping - so we hop on a plane and stay in one of our time share places.  This time, it was a week in Maui

A week isn’t very long (for us) but we took some friends along with us, and booked two suites.  Our friends had never been to the islands before, and when we heard that, we couldn’t resist taking them along!  It’s so much more fun to share the adventure with others.  It was also Jack’s 75th birthday, so that added to the celebration.

Having been before, we were excited to show John and Delores all around.  The weather was glorious, and we didn’t waste a moment after we arrived.  First stop, downtown Lahaina!  Lunch at Bubba Gump’s for fresh sea food and a “toast” to celebrate our stay.  A nice walk around town, taking in all the lovely views.  It didn’t take Delores long to buy her first souvenir either!


High on our list of “to do’s” was a luau, and that was booked before we left.  I had talked with someone from the time share and set it all up and got us VIP seating for the best one on the island, The Old Lahaina Luau.   I had read about it, and was excited to see it.  We had done one in Kauai, but not in Maui, so this would be new for us as well.

The night of the luau, our hosts met us and we all got our pictures taken, then were escorted to the luau and were greeted with orchid leis and cocktails.  We had our own server throughout the evening that never left our side.  Our seats were the BEST!  The only ones in front of us, were the ones sitting on the floor (no thanks, to old for that!).  The entertainment, the food, the drinks, the atmosphere, everything, was just wonderful.  We really lucked out on the weather too, as it was right on the beach, and we didn’t even need our light sweaters we brought.  Such a great night.


The following day, we took them on the road to Hana.  I don’t think they liked it as much as we did.  Delores isn’t much for winding roads - even if the scenery is beautiful.  I thought that if we took it slow, and stopped a lot, she would be okay, but, not really.  Oh well…we still loved seeing it (again).  It’s some of the prettiest part of the island, I think.   We did stop at one new place this time, and that was at MauiWine.  Delores, John and I did wine tasting.  We all agreed…pineapple wine is not for us.  Oh well, it was fun trying it.


Jack wanted to celebrate his birthday at Slappy Cakes a pancake house.  So, that’s what we did!  It’s a unique restaurant where you can make your own pancakes on a griddle in the middle of the table and/or order pancakes as you do at other places.  While we ordered ours, Jack made his.  He had fun playing with the shapes of his pancakes, making faces, and his “age”, etc.  He may be 75, but he’s still a kid at heart!









The week went by way to fast.  Beautiful days with lovely sunrises and sunsets and even a rainbow or two.  But, all good things have to come to an end (or so they say)…so on the plane we came home, once again. 

We are now back in Arizona, nose deep in settling in to this new tiny house of ours.  Still finding things we’d forgotten we had, wondering where we are going to put it now, or do we get rid of it…and in between it all, planning our next adventure!


…kicking back in Arizona,  Marie


If you wish to view the rest of the photos from this trip, you can at my Flickr account at:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/74905158@N04/


Friday, October 12, 2018

Catching Up...

Well, they say "after three days fish and family begin to smell"...I wonder what one says about two weeks?  We camped alongside my niece's home in "exchange" for cooking a few meals...pretty good deal, and the company was nice too!  ;-)  Being Tacoma, the weather wasn't half bad either (most of the time).  The rain pretty much kept to the evenings, and gave us mild sun during the days.  We spent most of our time seeing doctors, catching up with family and helping out my nieces finish up my sister's place.  They are all still struggling with her passing last month and I was here to see if I could help in any way.  I mostly listened...and hugged.  Loosing a sister is tough, but loosing a mom is tougher...no matter what age you are.

It was finally time to go, and head on back to Arizona.  Our plan was to spend a couple of days camping at Mt. Rainer...if the weather cooperated, that is.  We've never been able to do it before because we've always been here in the dead of winter, but since it was only September, there was a slight chance it might not be raining (at least for a couple of days), we thought we would chance it, so off we went!

Well, the gods weren't with us...the sun was out when we left, but the closer we got, the worse it got, and by the time we got to the mountain, ugh.  Rain, rain, rain!  So, we kept right on going...until we ended up in Baker City OR.  It turned out to be quite a cute little town with some interesting things to see...so we extended our stay!

Baker City has a great historical downtown with some wonderful old buildings (they even have a visitor's brochure for you), but my favorite was their 1940 theater.


Everyone there kept telling us about their Oregon Trail Interpretive Center, and what a "must see" it was to visit...so, we did!  They were right...a super great museum, and outside even had an actual piece of the ruts left from the trail itself.  Very cool.

We have all heard so much about the Oregon Trail, with so many movies, art, and our travels, etc. but a lot of it wasn't like that.  For instance...

*  They didn't travel in a long line like we've seen in pictures & in the movies, they traveled across from each other or bunched up because they didn't want to breath each other's dust (makes sense)
*  They didn't all ride in the wagons, the women and children, etc walked the whole way.  The only ones "riding" were the ones driving the wagon.  The wagons were full of provisions, and very uncomfortable too
*  Horses didn't pull the wagons, they were mostly pulled by oxen or mules because of the weight
*  The wagons didn't have springs in them, they were special built prairie schoone wagons
*  Not all Indian situations were bad.  Early emigrants were grateful for the cooperation and generosity of the Indians they met on the Trail.  They were guides and were strong swimmers who herded frightened cattle and horses across rivers and were willing to trade salmon, vegetables and fruit for stock, clothing, tools and utensils.  Many more emigrants would have died on the Trail if not for the Tribe's help

I often wondered "why?" and "what possessed these people to travel almost 2000 miles to a place they had never really seen?"  The museum answered it for me...

"Oregon fever" struck in hundreds of ways - emigrants moved away from home and hearth for different reasons.  A national depression, falling crop prices, and disease-ridden city environment encouraged some.  Others, running from debt, or from the local sheriff.  Still others hoped for good farming, or as one character put it, "Just to get where I ain't".  Most who came West were farmers, with them came merchants, preachers, and eventually the military.  Women and children followed ambitious men, waving farewells to families and friends left behind.    Many imagined Oregon as rich, well-watered paradise, with good soil, few bugs and fewer people. 

All I can say, is that these were some strong, brave folks.  To endure what they did, for six long months, is far more than most of us do in a life time.  Pretty amazing...

The Oregon Trail rut
The Oregon Trail is more than just an old dirt road.  It represents the hopes and dreams of a growing nation, individuals and groups, heartache and hardship, lasting friendships and new homes.  It symbolizes a tradition of movement and change, the willingness to start over, and the search for opportunity.  It also represents less heroic elements of the emigrant movement, such as the irreversible cultural and social changes brought as Native peoples were pushed off their homelands.

Baker City is also surrounded by historic ghost towns, so we took an afternoon drive out to the country to see "what we could see"!  The only one that had much left was the
mining town of Sumpter.

As you drive into the Sumpter Valley, you see piles & piles of gravel...everywhere!  We later found out they are called "tailings" - refuse left behind by people's quest for gold....and one of the tools used to dig up the valley floor is the Sumpter Valley Dredge State Heritage Park's centerpiece - a monument to human ingenuity surrounded by the restorative wonders of nature.  The tool used to plow up most of what was once pasture and open meadows along the Powder River is a five-story vessel known as the Sumpter Valley Dredge.  Wider than a large riverboat, the dredge is now grounded where it stopped operating in 1954.  It is one of the nation's oldest surviving gold-digging dredge, weighing 1240 tons with a 52' wide hull.

It managed to navigate the Sumpter Valley in a pond of its own creation, scooping up its 72 buckets (each weighing one ton) at the rate of 280,000 cubic yards per month.  In 41 years, Sumpter Valley Dredge works extracted $4.5 million in gold.


The town was kind of cute too, with it's old buildings and history.  We even got a great glimpse of an eagle as we drove out of town on our way home!  All in all, it was a fun visit!


Well, we are back "home" again in Arizona.  Trying to get things unpacked and turn this tiny house into a home...weeding through boxes and figuring out what treasures we keep and what we can part with...oh the joys of "downsizing" once again!  But, turning white walls into pretty blue ones, and seeing all our favorite art work once again displayed has it's upside!  It's nice to see our friends again and to be in the sunshine too!  We are looking forward to the activities here, and settling in a bit before our next "big trip" in the spring.


Until then, we have one "vacation" planned to Hawaii, then it will be quiet on the travel front for us for awhile...

...kicking back in Arizona,  Marie

If you wish to view the rest of the photos from this trip, you can at my Flickr account at:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/74905158@N04/

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Hanging around...

We've been hanging around for the last couple of weeks in the small town of Warden, just outside of Moses Lake Washington.  Just killing time, over the Labor Day Holiday, visiting all the small communities around here...even learning a bit of "local farming"!

This area seems to be THE area for onions, potatoes, corn and wheat, sunflowers and then just down the road a bit you've got apples, apples and more apples!  We had fun one day just watching the tractors first digging up the onions, then the trucks hauling them from the fields over to the processing plants and dumping them and off they go again!  The smell was so strong just watching them, my eyes were watering!  What an education though!


Another day trip was over to see Palouse Falls in Franklin.  They drop 198 feet!  Even in late August they had a great deal of water, which I was delighted to see.  They are considered the "official waterfall of Washington".   Carved more than 13,000 years ago, Palouse Falls is among the last active waterfalls on the Ice Age floods path.  It was a nice trip!


We did a day's driving loop and wound up stopping at the Ginko Petrified Forest State Park in Ellensburg.  Interesting place, with a number of petrified logs on display of a variety of trees.  A nice museum with a video explaining how they get petrified (volcano & floods and centuries of time).  Pretty cool, actually.


The cutest town we visited (twice) was Ritzville.  It had a number of great old buildings for me to photograph as well as some wonderful metal sculptures that their local artist created for them.  They are intended to have historical connection to the city, its forefathers and the agricultural industry that surrounds the city.  They were pretty unique, I thought.
Plus a funny one outside an art studio!

They also had a really cool Railroad Depot Museum that not only kept many of it's own original pieces like the 1910 Ticket Office, terrazzo floors.  It also houses wonderful turn of the century artifacts and memorabilia like a horse drawn hearse, and an old sleigh, trunks, etc.  They also have a beautiful restored Northern Pacific Railway Caboose (c1970).

Our second trip to Ritzville was to attend their Wheatland Communities' Fair!  A four-day event over the Labor Day Holiday.  It's always fun to see local community fairs, and as I've shared, they are all different!  We thought, being that this was a multi-community, it could be bigger than the last one (and it charged an entrance fee), it would be bigger than the last one we went to...but, no, it was actually smaller!  Prettier setting, more spread out, in a park setting and nice metal barns, with a rodeo later in the evening (which we didn't stay for), but less to see and do.  More kid's activities tho, "good food" vs "junk food".  Far fewer entries in the Arts and Crafts section, which I was really surprised at.  We did stay and watch the the animal auction though, which was fun!  Amazing to watch young kids herding in thousand pound cows like city kids pulling on a dog.  ;-)

I loved that the judges made comments on the photo contests!

All in all, it's been a fun experience being out here in the farmland of central Washington - good for "city folk" to experience it!  Time for us to move on to Tacoma and be with family for awhile now...

...kicking back in Washington,  Marie

If you wish to view the rest of the photos from this trip, you can at my Flickr account at:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/74905158@N04/