Mar and Gar's Adventures

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Not Enough Time

Washington DC – wow, what an amazing city and experience. Six days here doesn’t even put a dent in all there is to see and do. I am so lucky that I was included in a couple events that Theresa was attending- one being a Happy Hour sponsored by two Washington congressmen and a personal night tour of the Capitol by congressman Derek Kilmer. But I will get back to all that later.

We arrived late Monday night and had an Uber ride to our hotel with Theresa’s boss. We are staying at the Hotel Monaco, which is kitty corner to the arena where all the major sports teams play and we are directly across from the National Portrait Gallery.

Monday night the hockey team Washington Capitals was playing game six of the semi-finals for the Stanley Cup. We were all hungry so the three of us and another of co-worker decided to walk a few blocks to a Mexican restaurant and have some tapas before they closed. Theresa and I checked in first and left to meet the others. Well, in that short time the game had ended and the Caps (Capitals) has won so everyone leaving the arena was in party and celebration mode. Car horns would give 3 strong honks, then everyone would yell “let’s go, Caps!” Honk honk honk! Let’s go, Caps! Then lots of cheering. It was a great welcome to DC.

Theresa had stayed at this hotel before but was really disappointed with our room. It actually was on the lower level and the only windows were up high and you looked up to the street. Kinda creepy. I like to people watch but not be the one watched. And the ceiling of our room was really low so you felt cramped. We arranged to move to a better room Tuesday after all the hockey fans had checked out in the morning. The new room is great and we are super happy.

Tuesday morning Theresa left for her meeting at the House of Representatives and I took off walking and exploring. It was raining so took a hotel umbrella, thank goodness, because at one point it was torrential rain. I am really good with directions until just close to my destination then usually turn the wrong way, so of course I needed help from time to time til I was smart enough to see the great street signs and also use Google maps on my phone. I walked past many important buildings like the FBI, Dept. of Justice, several of the Smithsonian museums, the new African American museum, the Washington Monument, the White House and ending up at the Portrait Gallery. My goal was get oriented and then hit it hard on Wednesday. But I learned at most of the exhibits you need a ticket to get even though they are free. That is how they control how many at a time are in the building. The popular ones daily allotment of tickets often means waiting in a line early in the morning and hope you get one. So, for example to see Museum X, Y or whatever you go before the ticket office opens, stand in line, chose a tour time, then go back later for the time your ticket is for. Some exhibits you can order tickets in advance. I am still learning some of that.

Anyway, after a long day of walking I joined Theresa and 2 coworkers in our lobby for a short happy hour and appetizers, then got to go with them to a rustic downstairs bar a few blocks  away for a no-host Happy Hour sponsored by Congressman Derek Kilmer, 6th congressional district and Congressman Denny Heck, 10th congressional district. (Both present, plus a congressman from Colorado ). There were about 20 -25 people and all very welcoming to me being there with them. It was interesting eavesdropping in on conversations and people watching. There was a lot of schmoozing and not much drinking. So even though we did 2 happy hours I had a total of 2 glasses of wine, Theresa and coworkers either water or maybe a wine or a beer. Just want you all to know it was very good behavior and not a booze fest.

Theresa and I then hiked 30 minutes to the Capitol building where Congressman Kilmer gave a night tour to about 15 of us. It was fabulous. The Congressman has a great sense of humor, an obvious love of history, and a ton of fun trivia facts about the Capitol. By the way, a normal person can request a tour through their district representative but you need to do it months in advance. It is not a drop-in thing at all. The House was working but in recess so we didn’t tour the floor of the House, but we got to go up in the gallery. We did get to go on the floor of the Senate. There is lots of security but all very friendly and efficient. It was a really great tour, about 1 1/2 hours, then the Congressman walked with all of us to where we catch an Uber, taxi or Metro to go to our various destinations. He stayed with us until the last person had a way back where they needed to go. In case you can’t pick this up, I really liked and was impressed by Congressman Kilmer. That district should be very proud he represents them.

We got back to our hotel around 10:30 and were hungry so went into the bar where they were still serving late snacks. Our waiter forgot to put in our order (even though we had paid) so he felt bad enough to get us a couple free drinks and added some truffle fries to our order. I think we got to our room around 12:30….

Wednesday morning I was lazy and fell back to sleep after Theresa headed to her meeting at the Senate. And because my feet hurt, I got a ticket for the Hop On Hop Off bus tour. It is touristy but a great way to get around and learn more interesting facts. I got off at Union Station and had lunch and people watched. It is a beautiful building and super busy. I wandered across the street to the National Postal Museum next door to Union Station. There was a docent giving a tour to a couple people so I joined them. What a fun and interesting museum. Our guide knew so much and we saw very rare stamps like the up-side down Jenny airplane, very unusual stamps like the one that is a feather (for airmail), one from 1937 taxing marihuana (spelled that way then). In reality it was a tax on hemp, so, no, marijuana was not legal in 1937.

While there we got a really special treat. The musical Hamilton is coming to DC in June so all over the city there are special exhibits opening soon. The Postal Museum will be displaying the dueling revolvers from the famous Alexander Hamilton – Aaron Burr duel. They had just brought the revolvers in by armed guard that morning and were setting up the room. Our tiny group of 3 got permission to peek in the room and take pictures as long as we stayed behind the roped area. The exhibit opens Friday and there will be long lines, so seeing this way was super cool and special.2194D485-7D4E-429F-9620-F042A1F3A85A

I hopped back on the bus and got out at the stop for the Holocaust Museum and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. Theresa wants to go to the bureau so I was on a fact finding mission about tickets. They suggested trying Thursday because with the holiday and also tons ( and I mean tons!!!) of school tour groups it would be very hard to get tickets for Friday.

OK, this enough for chapter 1 of the trip.

 

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A Capitol Idea

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

It is time for a new adventure!  I am leaving today with my daughter for 6 days in Washington D.C.  She is going for work…. it is Puget Sound on the Hill Days… and asked if I wanted to come along.  I have never been to our nation’s capitol so of course I said yes!

Even though she will be working for part of the trip I get  to go to a few functions with her so will definitely be writing about it and taking pictures.  One is a night tour of the Capitol!

I totally over packed for the trip but I have all sorts of excuses… Like, what if it rains and all my clothes and shoes get wet?  What if I spill and I can’t get my clothes cleaned.  Of course I could have packed less and do what I did when I went to New Orleans with my daughter – go shopping in the town I am visiting.  I still might have to do that.

 


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All About Mom…

Sorry!  I never posted about our last bit of our trip home.  I will make it super fast because I want to write about my mom and her trip she left on today.

We got home mid March… the trip home was uneventful.  We were a few days earlier than planned because of bad weather forecast in the passes.  Garry wishes he was back in Mexico.  I miss the weather but am glad to be home for awhile.

Now, on to Mom.   She was a bit envious of the river cruise that Garry and I took last fall in Europe so she booked herself a river cruise in France and so today at a very spry 90 she is headed by herself over to Bordeaux to got on her ship.

The trip started out with the most amazing experience at SeaTac airport this morning.  Mom was coming in to Seattle on an airport shuttle and it was going to get her in really early so I asked my sister Robin if she wanted to go the the airport with me and surprise Mom, help her check her baggage and spend a couple minutes with her then send her through security.

My sister and I headed to the airport with enough time to try to figure out where the shuttle would drop her off.  After a few questions with different people we were just by the Delta check-in area when we saw her shuttle almost there.  Perfect timing!!  And boy was she surprised to see us!

We headed into the terminal and were trying to decide the best way to handle things because she needed a wheelchair for the airport.  She is spry but at 90 and with her purse and carry-on the walk is often long and tiring.  We were in a line for people needing extra things like that when a nice man from Delta came and plucked us out of the middle of the line.  Literally… just said come with me.     He inquired about the trip and on hearing she would need a wheelchair, he had one brought over asap and then took us and her documents to a different check-in, handled her check baggage and just has us wait with the nice lady who would push the wheelchair.  This nice Delta man was surprised at Mom’s age, and also amazed she was born in Seattle and that Robin and I were, also.   There are so many transplants that it is rare for a true Seattle-ite these days.  We laughed and joked that he picked her from the line because he knew she was famous.  She mentioned she was a secret agent.  Not too sure if that is smart to say at an airport these days but it didn’t phase him… oh, and it is not true, as far as I know even though my brother-in-law Mario thinks it is.

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Mom all ready for France

We chatted and as she was given her boarding passes we mentioned we would go with her to Security and say our goodbyes.  Nice Delta man said, why say goodbye there… Duh, silly man!  Because we don’t have tickets.  He said that you just have to know who to ask.   I said very cleverly, “huh”?  And then he said, “I am the one to ask.  Give me your driver’s licenses and I will get you passes to go with your Mom to the gate.

According to our nice lady pushing the wheelchair that our nice Delta man was the Manager and he does this sometimes.  And going with someone in a wheelchair is totally fun!  We went through premier lines, to the front of all lines, and she just whizzed us through security so fast we couldn’t blink!

We were really glad of the wheelchair because Mom’s departure gate was clear at the end of A concourse so it was a looooong ways away.  Robin and I were able spend another hour or so with her before we headed home.  Even though Mom is traveling alone there are a few other Seattle people on the flight with her Travels With Alan group so knowing her she met some before even boarding the plane.  And I can hardly wait to hear her adventures when I pick her up next Sunday back at Sea Tac.


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Monday, March 5

Random Things

Brrrrrr. Woke up early in Barstow this morning to 31 degrees. My body is still on Arizona time zone so will do a few quick notes while drinking my wake up coffee.

I haven’t posted since Feb 19th? Really…

The fishing trip in Puerto Lobos didn’t happen… darn. Jackie and Ray joined us from Kino Bay but the winds were predicted to be really bad and sure enough it was so bad Arturo would not even consider going out. It would be a couple days before it was to settle so we ended up going to Puerto Penasco earlier than planned. The RV Park was really full compared to when we were there at New Years so we only spent 2 nights there before crossing back into the U.S.

When we were in Puerto Lobos, Arturo told us that he had heard the guy Garry went fishing with last year, Rocky, was pretty sick. I hadn’t heard anything but not many days later we saw a Facebook post that he had passed away from a fast bout of melanoma cancer.  He was only 63.  Our thoughts are with his wife, Pat and their family.

We met up with Robin Miller in Quartzsite, Arizona. Spent a couple nights there then moved on to Bullhead City with us. It was great to see her after only reading about her camping adventures. She cooked us a fabulous dinner one night and we went out the others. Robin headed out after a couple days but we stayed and dry camped so were in Bullhead for 9 days, with one week of it right on the edge of the Colorado river.

There was a car and boat show in Needles on Feb. 23 and 24. We stopped by on the 23rd for a couple hours to visit with boat racing friends from California and Washington. The Rankins had our old flat bottom boat there so Gar sat in it for awhile. Gar went back on the 24th to enjoy more of the show and visit again.

While in Bullhead we got to see Mark and Tammi Lamirande who are traveling in the first RV, a beautiful new 5th wheel. Tammi was my nail person for around 30 years until she retired in November. They are doing a great job of enjoying retirement.

We met with a real estate person and will be listing our property in Bullhead City. Who knows if it will sell but we will never build there so why not see what interest there might be by others.

The casinos were kind to us for once in Laughlin. It probably helped that we only gambled a couple times but between us we almost broke even. If not for Garry finding 2 chips in his pocket that I quickly lost at blackjack, we would have been even.

Dry camping has its challenges. I didn’t worry about running the generator and bugging people because we were by ourselves almost the whole time, but rationing water and filling out holding tanks is another issue. One day we had to go up to the dump and fill site in the park and then were good until we left. Knowing the black water tank usually doesn’t fill up but the grey does makes you little tricks like emptying some things (like cold coffee) into the toilet instead of down the sink helps. Also throwing dishwater outside rather than down the drain helps. And it really helps on water consumption when Garry takes a short shower instead of just standing and letting water run and run.

So now you are almost caught up. We will head across Tehatchapi Pass today but it will be a fairly short day. We will probably come home up the Oregon coast and spend a little time there before crossing into Washington.

This trip has flown by!


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Sunday, February 19

I am so behind on posting. I feel bad because my friend, Robin Miller, is on her first road trip with her new camper and her cat Misty and she posts almost every day. I could promise to do better but it won’t happen!

We were in Kino Bay for 10 or 11 days… I am not exactly sure. But we enjoyed meeting up with friends from previous years and also getting to know some new people. We really missed not being able to see Philip, the French guy that bakes all the wonderful breads. His place is for sale and he and his wife are back in New Mexico. While there, Garry got to fish with Ray from Montana and on a different day, Harvey from Canada. Not much luck but always fun. We went out to eat a lot, Garry got to play pool with the Saturday pool group and we found a good pizza place. We also met Craig Grisham from Washington somewhere. He was a well digger and know our boat racing friend Al LaPointe, who owns Security Race Products.

I rode the electric bike some, Garry flew the drone some. And it rained a lot! We had 2 ‘good’ days of rain making a mess of dirt roads. We also took a jaunt into Calle Doce and Hermosillo. Calle Doce is a small town on the way to Hermosillo. I was able to use the ATM there which was good because the one in Kino Bay has been broken for over a week. In Calle Doce there is a huge hardware/everything store that carries everything from construction stuff, electrical, dishes, gardening, bird cages, appliances. All things are covered with a healthy coat of dust. For those from the Seattle/South King County area, it is like a McLendon’s Hardware on steroids. It was lots of fun to wander around. I bought a potato masher, 2 plastic bowls and Gar got a deadbolt lock that he might use some day.

In Hermosillo we went to Costco and the Mega store, then lunch at the Holy Cow for a great burger and fries.

Gar wanted to go to Puerto Lobos to fish again like he did last year and I wanted to be in Puerto Penasco by the 23rd, so we decided to head out yesterday for Puerto Lobos. We have a fishing trip for Garry tomorrow with Arturo, who took him out last year. Ray and Jackie from Montana (and Kino Bay) are driving up today and Ray will go fishing with Garry while Jackie and I will be lazy. When they leave Tuesday we will head on to Puerto Penasco. We are dry camping so will need to move on for dumping the holding tanks and getting water.

The trip from Kino Bay to Puerto Lobos was not a good one. The portion of the road from Kino Bay to Puerto Libertad is in worse shape this year except for one small portion. The rain had made a mess of the detour we had to take. It was down to one lane so we alternated who went either direction. Then after the detour the ruts and holes were much worse than previous years. We had to stop once for some repairs inside the motorhome before we could continue. Then once past Libertad it became apparent that the new highway is already deteriorating. The 3 1/2 hour drive took almost 6. But we made it and are all good now.

When we leave Mexico we will be hopefully meeting up with Robin Miller in Bullhead City, Arizona. We were hoping to also meet up with Mark and Tammi Lamirande who are on their first RV trip but they leave Bullhead on the 22nd so we will just miss them…..darn!!!!


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Boat? You Bet!

We arrived in Kino Bay last Wednesday after a nice uneventful drive on the newly paved road. Only about 2 kilometers were unpaved and we detoured around that but saw paving going as as we passed by so by now that stretch is probably done. What a difference from last year when the road was the worst we had ever been on.

But before we left San Carlos there was one last thing we had to do….buy a boat!!!!! Yes, we did. Well, not all the paperwork is done yet but it looks like we did. It is owned by a man from Idaho who is ill so selling his boat, condo, etc. Anyway, it is a 2004 26’ Robalo with twin 225 Yamaha four stroke outboards. The boat has lots of quality electronics and is outfitted with some of the seller’s fishing gear for us. It comes with a trailer and we were able to make arrangements to keep the indoor concrete storage for it. It really is a nice boat. It is extremely well taken care of. So, of course that means we will be in San Carlos more next year – probably at least for 2 months.

Needless to say, we are hoping some friends and/or family make it to San Carlos next year to do some fishing!!!


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What? Who???

Just when I think I have had all the strange “six degrees of separation” that I could ever have, I had the most amazing one ever on Friday.

Let me set the scene. A small fishing village in Mexico called Bahia de Kino (Kino Bay). A small RV Park in the village. A small but popular restaurant about 1/2 mile away called Mariscos. A country band playing led by an 85 year old neighbor in the RV Park. Garry, me and 4 friends at a table. Our next door neighbor in the RV Park, Julio, from Bisbee, Arizona enters with his girlfriend. They join us at our table.

Music, food and dancing ensues. Girlfriend leans across table and asks my name. Marilee. Where am I from? Washington. Did I go to college? Yes. Where? Central Washington State College in Ellensburg. Did you live in Kamola Hall? Yes….and now I am kinda freaking out a bit.

Turns out Julio’s girlfriend is a lady named Corrine and she lived on the same floor of the dorm I lived in. She was about 8 doors down from me. She had a roommate for awhile named Stephanie who for a short time dated my brother!!!

Forty-eight years since we had seen each other and she said she recognized my voice right away and I look just the same except my hair is a different color. That blows me away that she actually remembered me even though we had only known each other about a year!!

This is the first time Corinne has been to Kino Bay and it just happens to be the time we are here.

Oh, I forgot to mention she lived in Des Moines from about 1980 to 1990….What a crazy, fun world we live in. I can’t wait for the next episode in my life!